If your item was bought online, over the phone or by mail order, as a customer you have consumer returns rights under the Consumer Contracts Regulations. These give you a cancellation period that starts the moment you place your order and ends 14 days from the day you receive your goods.

You then have a further 14 days from the date you notify the retailer that you’d like to cancel your order to return the goods to them. You have the legal right to a refund if you return your faulty goods within 30 days of receiving it, regardless of what the store’s return policy says.

If you don’t reject the goods within the first 30 days, and find a fault within the first six months of possessing your faulty goods, you’ll need to give the retailer a chance to make a repair or replacement. If that’s unsuccessful, you can then ask for a refund.

For store returns most retailers choose to provide a ‘goodwill’ returns policy offering an exchange, refund or credit note for most returns. You can only return store-bought non-faulty goods for an exchange or refund if the retailer has a returns policy.

It’s worth noting that shops aren’t required by law to have a returns policy, but if they do have one they must stick to it. Returns policies are usually displayed on receipts, on signs in store and online. You can also ring the shop’s customer services line to find out its returns policy.